Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kentucky Bourbon Brown Sugar Ham!

 
 
Baked ham is always good for a holiday meal or an anytime meal actually, but we think of it for holidays usually.  What I like about a ham, is that you not only get a wonderful meal out of it initially, you can get so many meals and uses out of the leftovers.  It's rare that you would ever eat a whole ham at any one meal, unless you have a really large crowd.  This is what is sometimes called 'city ham'...not by those of us that actually know what country ham is most of time, but they call it that at Cracker Barrel it seems and it does help to differentiate between the two. What I am trying to say is this recipe is for 'city ham' not a country ham, which is a whole different process.  You can buy a fully cooked ham or a semi cooked ham, a boneless ham, semi boneless ham or bone in ham...doesn't matter one bit. This recipe is not really for a 'fresh ham' which requires different cooking times and is more like cooking pork loin. 
 
  Different brand hams will be available in different areas of the country, but I prefer a Kentucky Legend Ham (imagine that...lol).   I like to buy a whole ham if possible, but if you do bake a half ham that has been cut, put that cut side down in the pan to prevent the ham from drying out.  That brings me to the spiral cut hams, I am not a big fan. I know they are really popular and Paula Deen sells the heck out of them and for a cook that doesn't really know what to do with a ham, they are a pretty good option.  You can put that packet of stuff they stick in there with them on it and warm it up (ewww) and it will be good to go, or at least edible.  I find that with this cooking method that I like to use,  they tend to dry out, because of being spiral cut.  They are just not as suitable for this long slow cooking method.

 Even when hams say "fully cooked" and you read things written by foodies and experts and such that say, "you can take that ham right out of the package and slice it and eat it"...please don't do that.  That would turn even me against ham and I love everything about a pig...well almost.  In my humble opinion, you also cannot simply warm those hams up in the oven to 160 degrees (which is also said a lot).  Now if you do, it won't kill you  or anything, but the flavor just won't be there and it won't be tender and juicy and succulent like a ham that is baked properly.  Some people prefer a semi boneless or bone in ham over a boneless ham and the ones with the bone will be a little more flavorful, but the boneless ham gives you more bang for your buck, carves better and will feed more people...both, cooked this way are excellent.
 
Anytime I bake a ham, people always ask where did I buy it.  They always think it's from a ham store or something, which is funny to me.  I would never pay what those places charge for a baked ham...it's crazy.   You can bake a much better ham at home with the right method.  Here is what you will need:


1 ham, fully cooked or semi cooked
whole cloves
1 can pineapple slices, juices reserved
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup good Kentucky bourbon
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. prepared yellow mustard


With a sharp knife score your ham in about 1" squares.  It is probably already sort of scored somewhat, but just make those cuts a little deeper in squares.  Place a whole clove in every other square.  You don't have to do each one, cloves go a long way and can be overpowering. Place the pineapple rings over the ham. Reserve the pineapple juice.  The pineapple rings help hold the glaze on the ham and sweeten it.  You can also stick a maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple ring for a pretty presentation.







Preheat oven to 350.  Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, bourbon, Worcestershire, and mustard and spread over the ham. Pour about 1 cup water in the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with heavy duty foil and bake for 1 hour.  Remove and baste the ham again with the pan juices.  Cover with foil again and cook for another hour. Turn the oven off.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Let the ham sit in the oven until it completely cools down.  This does wonderful things to a ham that you cannot do any other way.  When you take it out and uncover it, the ham will still be hot, unless you left if in there for a couple of days or something...lol.   Sometimes I put one in the night before a couple of hour before bedtime and then turn it off after the two hours and let it just hang out in the oven all night long.  Take it out in the morning and carve it.   It's just perfect!  There are two things that make this ham better than most, the bourbon and the cooking method.  Don't change either one and you will be pleasantly surprised!
 



Kentucky Bourbon Brown Sugar Ham

22 comments:

  1. I have an 18 pound ham, Do I still follow these directions for such a big ham? This looks great!

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  2. That's a big ham. Add about 30 minutes to the cooking time and still just turn the oven off and leave it to cool completely down. It continues to slow cook even after the oven is off.

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  3. I'm going to try this out for my daughter's Christmas party this Saturday! Can't wait! YUMMMM!

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  4. Kathy, I did just as you said and my 18 pound ham was the best I have ever ever cooked! Thank you so much for your food blog. You are the best!

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  5. I am so glad it turned out great for you!

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  6. How many approximate pounds should the ham be?

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  7. Wonderful! My Easter Ham peeps will be ever so happy with this. Will let you know how it goes, Kathy. Thanks! :)

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  8. Is there anything else besides bourbon that I can use? Thanks. Betty Jones-facebook

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    1. I think apple juice would work well in place of the bourbon. I often use apple juice and brown sugar to glaze my hams . Or even orange juice .

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    2. I use my juice out of the pineapple. Gonna try the bourbon next time!

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  9. I was wondering the same thing. Is there anything else that I could use besides the bourbon? Thank you.

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  10. You can use Coke for the bourbon, but I will tell you that the bourbon does magical things to the ham and through the cooking process there is not any alcohol left actually.

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  11. You can also use apple juice or orange juice but the bourbon is so many times better than anything else you can add to the glaze.

    Just get you a small bottle of bourbon to use for cooking. I use it in lots of other things too. I make my own vanilla extract with it, I put it in sweet potatoes, pecan pie. LOTS of things. The alcohol cooks off and you are left with a deliciousness you can't get from anything else.

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  12. I am doing this for easter-2013 thanks sounds good !

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  13. Made this today using Canadian Club whiskey - best ham I have ever cooked! How would you use the pan juices? Seemed too sweet to make a good gravy for me. Wondering what others do. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

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  14. do you have to use Bourbon
    can you use pop

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  15. Could you do this in a roaster. I have a huge roaster that I sometimes do my turkeys in, but I am doing ham this year and will have my oven occupied by everything else I am making.

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  16. I have an electric stove. Will it still continue to cook overnight even though there's no pilot light to kind of keep it warm?

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  17. Can Kentucky Legend ham be used for this recipe?

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  18. This blog is terrible for printing. Either goes off the right side, or shrink to fit mode squishes it in, but it's small and blurry.

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  19. I have not had any problems doing a cut and paste to word, I never print the web page directly, it gives you too much unnecessary stuff.

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  20. hi,

    How would you adjust the cook time, if at all, for a 5lb(ish) boneless ham?

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